The Brewing Shed

Frocester Beer Festival 2012 – the review!

Now the post-beer festival sweats have subsided, it’s time for our Frocester Beer Festival review.
Frocester, as any brown booze afficionardo will tell you, is one of the most eagerly anticipated beer-o-thons in the country. Nick loves it so much, this was his 24th year!*
We kindly braved the thunderstorms, flash floods and the Downton Severnside Brass Band to bring you our Best of the Fest.

“Hang on a minute… slightly off-topic”? (you rudely interupt).
“NO! Think again!” (we burp back).
We see this as a great opportunity… the more booze we sample, the better informed we are. And the better informed we are, the better we can make our own alcoholic concoctions, the recipes of which we then pass on to you, right?
Got it? Good!

*I know this because his liver weakly croaked it to me once when Nick wasn’t looking.

Rich’s Top Five Festival beers

1. Potbelly – Beijing Black (pictured)
ABV 4.4%
Kettering, Northamptonshire
A full-bodied, more-ish mild.

2. Church End – What The Fox Hat
ABV 4.2%
Nuneaton, Warwickshire
Daft name belies this quality beer. Smooth and golden with a hoppy hint.

3. Stroud – Budding
ABV 4.5%
Thrupp, Gloucestershire
A classic floral pale ale with a lovely sweet finish.

4. Ossett – Silver King
ABV 4.3%
Ossett, West Yorkshire
A crisp, refreshing lager-style booze.

5. Devilfish – Stingray
ABV 5.5%
Hemington, Somerset
OK, so these guys are our pals, but we urge you to sample this quality brown ale.


Nick’s Top Five Festival Beers

1. Raw – JR Best
ABV 4.2%
Staveley, Derbyshire
It looks brown and beery. It tastes brown and beery. An instant classic – lovely.

2. Keystone – Gold Spice
ABV 4.0%
Salisbury, Wiltshire
A bitter beer flavoured with ginger. It works a treat.

3. Harviestoun – Wild Hop IPA
ABV 4.3%
Alva, Clackmannanshire
Super dry, hoppy, golden beer from Scotland.

4. Loddon – Hoppit
ABV 3.5%
Dunsden, Oxfordshire
When you’ve still got beer tokens left after a long day’s drinking this turns out to be the perfect pre-tent wind down. Amber beer, refreshing zesty flavour.

5. Uley – Hog’s Head
ABV 3.8%
Uley, Gloucestershire
A pale, bitter beer with a sweet finish. You easily could drink a lot of this stuff…

A note about ciders. We try to steer clear of the cider barrels at Frocester, as going on past experience it can result in ‘bad things’ happening.
However, to compare with our own efforts, we thought it was only right to try a few cheeky halves.
Brilliantly, we stumbled (literally) upon a great cider from Sherston. Smooth, slightly sweet, with just the right amount of astringency. A quality blend clearly made by cidermakers that really know their stuff.
Seek them out here:
Not so brilliant was the unfathomably popular Styles Farmhouse Cider, a harsh, HARSH cider of dubious quality. Half a pint of this stuff and you can wave goodbye to the enamel on your teeth.


  • My vote goes for the Uley – Pig’s Ear. A fine brew. And a hearty agreement with you on the Sherston cider. Roll on next year… large burp!

  • Cheers for the mention of enjoyment of our cider. It is champion tipple. If you enjoy it as much as we do, get in touch, and we’ll let you know where to find it (or better yet, you can come find us…)

    All best,

    Greg from Sherston Cider Co.
    Your Friendly Neighbourhood Cider man.

  • Nick,hello martin pagett here!how are you doing. I make cider on a small scale…1200 litres a year. Sold to frocester once. Any ideas as to any other festival around would be good for me to know. Not sure who runs frocester now. All other local festival were tied in to one supplier!! No use to me at all.very frustrating to say the least. Cheers for now.martin.

    • Hi Martin. Good to hear from you. I don’t know of any other suitable festivals – I’m living out in the Somerset sticks now so have lost touch a bit with what’s going on in your neck of the woods. My suggestion would be to get in touch with the Gloucestershire branch of CAMRA. They get involved in a lot of festivals and cover cider quite a bit these days, so even if they can’t get you on board at one of theirs they may know of others in the area.
      Will you be at Frocester this year? I’ll be there on Saturday…
      Catch you laters

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